Irony in the Work of Philosophy

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"Irony has been, and continues to be, a significant field in literary, cultural, and theoretical inquiry... The subject maintains its importance because of its mutability. Irony in the Work of Philosophy offers a thorough understanding of the concept's history and uses; developing from, and occasionally contesting, already established discussions of theory. Colebrook makes for a significant intervention, while directing the study of the subject into useful, new areas." Julian Wolfreys, author of Literary Theories: A Reader and Guide

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In an era that proclaims itself postironic, the question and problem of irony are of more interest than ever. In this compelling inquiry, Claire Colebrook first takes up all the major figures in post-Cartesian philosophy on the subject of irony: Spinoza, Kant, Hegel, and Nietzsche. She similarly examines the modern thinkers in the Anglo-Saxon tradition: Rorty, Searle, and de Man. She then engages in an analysis of the Continental canon and the ironic dimension that marks contemporary philosophy. Beyond the question of irony, Colebrook treats the presence of irony in the history of philosophy and those points of overlap between nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature and philosophy. Ultimately, she extends what has belonged primarily to the domain of literature into a world of concepts. Claire Colebrook is a reader in English literature at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and the author of New Literary Histories: New Historicism and Contemporary Criticism; Ethics and Representation: From Kant to Poststructuralism; and Gilles Deleuze.

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